The N-Word By Any Other Name

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Pic: Richard Sherman (C) NFL

I didn’t grow up in the ghetto or a trailer park or a particularly tough neighborhood. At the time that I lived there, my hometown was considered one of the better “bedroom communities” in the metropolitan area: an increasingly common landing field for white flight evacuees and – thanks to a small Baptist college in the center of town – an epicenter for white, middle-class Christian conservative education.

My own family moved there when I was in second grade, relocating from a neighborhood that today is well-know for crime, violence and drugs. While my own childhood was less than ideal for a great many reasons, it’s fair to say that I probably had it good compared to the challenges faced by the boys and girls who weren’t able to pick up and move across town. Not that they would have found it as easy even if they had the means to do so. More about that in a bit.

While I don’t know a whole lot about inner city life – and by that I mean the coded phrase that largely-white academics use to mean poor black neighborhoods; see also “urban” – I do know quite a bit about racism. And I don’t mean directed at me – I’ve experienced that, but as a middle class white guy it’s hardly a problem. I mean white racism, institutional and otherwise.

Shortly after we moved in, I barely remember being told that there had been a neighborhood meeting about whether a black family would be “allowed” to move into our neighborhood. (Irony: While they eventually moved in, the husband and wife were both upwardly mobile professionals who would move on to more affluent pastures in due time. The same couldn’t be said for most of the blue collar whites who were so frightened by the new, “scary” black family.)

School wasn’t much different: There was only a handful of black students, and while our classes and extracurricular activities like prom were “integrated” (it’s mind-boggling that I even have to point that out in the 21st century), white students and black students really didn’t socialize together. Those few who did cross the color line risked being rejected by many of those on both sides.

Growing up, a lot of things flew in my tiny little southern town that don’t today, like the “n-word.” When I say that, I mean that the epithet had a state of matter-of-fact common usage that (thankfully) I’ve not seen since. As a boy, I heard that word all the time, but as I got older and had more of a choice about who I associated with, I didn’t hear it as much. My teenage buddies were all nerds, bookworms and weirdos, and most of us did anything we could not to be a part of the local Good Ol’ Boy culture that rejected us, and by the time I was in college, anyone who used that word (or espoused openly racist values) was ostracized or did so at the risk of catching an ass-beating.

That didn’t mean that racism went away, though. It was still there. It still is. So is the n-word.”It’s just wearing a mask. Like a lot of white people (and maybe a few black people) I was a little skeptical when I heard Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman say that the word “thug” has become a more acceptable substitute for the n-word. Sherman’s observation followed in the wake of a barrage of criticism he received about some comments he made during a post-game interview with reporter Erin Andrews.

During the interview, Sherman warned another player to never talk about him again, because he (Sherman) is the best and that he’ll shut him up if he has to. Sure, it sounds a little threatening, especially if you’ve never been around fighters, athletes or other people who make their daily bread through physically challenging other people in one way or another, but if you have, then you’ll probably recognize it for what it is: Shit-talking, or to use a more socially acceptable substitute, “trash-talking”.

Athletes talk trash all the time. Some of them are great at it, and it’s just part of the culture of competition. Muhammad Ali was – in addition to being one of the greatest boxers of all time – one of the most talented trash-talkers to ever live. One of my favorites: “After the fight I’m gonna build myself a pretty home and use him as a bearskin rug. [Sonny] Liston even smells like a bear. I’m gonna give him to the local zoo after I whoop him.”

Sure, Sherman’s comments didn’t have that kind of wit (few could match Ali in his heyday), but threats and exaggerations aren’t exactly an unknown part of sports competition. It’s probably even part of your own life, unless you’ve never insulted or threatened someone in jest. (If so, then I applaud you. And kind of worry about you a little, too.) My buddies and I talk trash about each other all the time. Insulting each other is kind of an art form, and I don’t know too many guys who don’t engage in a little bit of this kind of barbed affection. It’s also a part of the martial arts community, and it’s not always respectful or friendly.

Good or bad, it’s just there.

One thing I’ve noticed is that people tend to get more upset about trash talk or otherwise unpleasant behavior when it comes from people from whom we consider it to be improper – especially minorities or women. They often have very specific words for those people. One of my favorite examples of this is UFC fighter Ronda Rousey. People lose their minds when she talks trash or engages in (admittedly) unsportsmanlike conduct, and they call her a “bitch,” “whore,” and “cunt.” I love Ronda Rousey. I admire her skill and enjoy her attitude. (I think that I’d also think twice about calling someone who can snap your arm in seconds a ‘bitch.’”) I also see that male fighters don’t get nearly as much grief for the same kinds of antics.

Rousey gets called a “bitch” or “whore” – gender specific insults loaded with moral judgment – when she acts out of line with how some people might think a woman should behave. Or more properly, when she acts how a man should behave. It’s a huge double standard. Right or wrong, calling a woman a “bitch” or “whore” doesn’t come with the same consequences as calling someone the n-word, so you’re probably more likely to hear a woman called a “bitch” than you are to hear another human being called the n-word.

Unless you’re living in some kind of Confederate South time capsule deep beneath the Earth, then the n-word is absolutely verboten. And with good reason. But still, we – and I mean the media and American culture as a whole – don’t want to give up on that word, so along comes other words that deep down we know means the same thing. Like “thug.”

“Thug” has an interesting history, linguistically speaking. It initially referred to the Thuggee, an organized group of assassins and thieves that operated in central India for about 500 years. In turn, “thug” is derived from the Hindi word for thief, “thag.” The word made its way back to Europe by way of British colonists, and it quickly became generalized to mean any kind of ruffian or criminal.

I had heard the word “thug” before I had ever heard of the thugees, and I suspect that many people can claim the same. It wasn’t used terribly much when I was growing up, though. I thought it sounded antiquated, like “ruffian” or “rapscallion.” It wasn’t until I was an adult that the word seemed to re-enter the common parlance, and I only heard it used in very specific circumstances, as I continue to today: in reference to young black men considered objectionable by the user.

Prior to Sherman’s observations, the first time that I really became aware of it was during the Trayvon Martin trial. The question of whether Martin was a “thug” became part of a public debate, without anyone really defining what “thug” meant in the first place. Walking mustache Geraldo Rivera (in)famously asserted that Martin had been wearing “thug wear” at the time he was shot, and suddenly people zeroed in on the hoodie – a common enough item in most people’s wardrobes. It was a distraction; an easy way out. Fewer asked Geraldo if he meant something else when he said that Martin “looked like” the “people” who had been supposedly ransacking Zimmerman’s neighborhood, although I have a feeling that many of us – black or white or otherwise – had a damned good guess.

Recently, the Omaha Police Officers Association posted a video of a cursing black toddler to its blog and decried it as part of “the thug cycle” while identifying the adults as the videos as “thugs” – as in “the thug that posted this video…”. The local media ran with the story, dubbing the child “the thug baby”, and in due course, the video went viral. Now “thug baby” has entered into the low-level pantheon of viral video fandom alongside that “Chocolate Rain” guy and “Keyboard Cat”. You can find plenty of videos of white children engaged in bad behavior, but there aren’t many famous ones that come with the label “thug.” The audience is expected to know what that means.

The public has accepted “thug” as a codeword, and if you doubt that, then try to remember how many other times you’ve heard public debates about whether a white kid was a “thug” or not. Even young white criminals aren’t “thugs” in the world of trial by public opinion. There is no “thug” test that we have to measure them by prior to sentencing in the court of our conscience.

As Jon Stewart pointed out, we’re not currently engaged in a national debate as to whether Justin Bieber is a thug, despite racking up an impressive list of felony charges. Meanwhile, Sherman – an honors college graduate with a clean record – catches hell for talking trash about another pro football player, something that he’s hardly alone in doing. Peyton Manning has had plenty of his own explosive on-field moments, but I can’t recall hearing a lot of debate about whether he is or isn’t a “thug.”

I think that Sheppard is on the money. For America, the word “thug” is a nudge and a wink that we’re all expected to understand mean something else. We’ve taken the n-word and put a mask on it. As long as we all agree not to peek under the mask, then it’s allowed to stay at the table of “polite” society and we can pretend that we’re better than the ignorant mouth-breathers who haven’t gotten the memo that their favorite word isn’t allowed at supper anymore.

473 Comments on "The N-Word By Any Other Name"

  1. American Cannibal | Feb 12, 2014 at 12:55 pm |

    “We’ve taken the n-word and put a mask on it.”

    n-word = nigger

    quit putting a mask on it.

  2. Gjallarbru | Feb 12, 2014 at 1:09 pm |

    This again an us vs. them problem. People want to divide, to stick a name, a label, to those whom lack enough resemblance to “their own”.

    I believe I have read an article recently, either here or arstechnica, that the human brain has some structure which is specialized in detecting those that resemble oneself. This is a survival mechanism from our species wilder days, to recognize other humans from simple animals. It has gone haywire when different groups of hominids met. Because of this mechanism, we are prone to racism. This is not to excuse the behavior, but to say that a conscious effort must be applied to ward subconscious reactions.

    But people do love their labels. For instance, being a polymath, I profoundly hate the “jack-of-all-trades” name. Since people tend to specialize, the acquisition of many skills bothers them, hence the label. I rarely fit in while in school, so I received other labels back then too. Granted, my (justified) reputation as a tarot reader in high school didn’t help. The only mitigating effect on this was my 6’4″, 230 lbs configuration which apparently slowed ostricizing efforts. I gladly responded likewise to more “vigorus” efforts to put me in my place.

    In the current state of humanity, there will always be labels for the “strangers”. It is by vertu of biology, ackward philosophy and language. We sometimes don’t even know what to do with the label, like American Cannibal has underlined.

    To part I would paraphrase Morgan Freemen in an interview of him where he said something like: “Stop calling me a black man, I’ll stop calling you a white man, and we’ll just be men”. I don’t remember the exact words, but that was the meaning I understood.

  3. From my persepctive, the word thug was popularized by 90’s gangster rap. Specifically Tupac, with his Thug Life tattoo and songs about said life. Somewhat on a tangent, two other words I’ve heard used that are masked racist terms. Others, and undesirables. Something else, no matter what your skin color or gender. If you’re going to trash talk, you better expect it to come back in some form.

    Something else…

    When I was in highschool, my neighbor had this black boyfriend. He was the coolest dude ever. He told me once. “Nigger is the coolor of action, not skin”. That’s stuck with me.

    Something else…

    I think if you are going to trash talk, it’s funnier if you call them poopy faces, jerk faces, poo butts, or some other childish thing. At least then the words match the act.

  4. American Cannibal | Feb 12, 2014 at 1:42 pm |

    I got the good old OED out and looked up ‘thug’ since the author is too lazy to do it himself:

    “Thug – A violent person, especially a criminal”

    Though, I don’t believe football players are criminal, they certainly are violent, so football players could justifiably be called thugs. Instead, I prefer to call them idiots or brain-dead-man-meat.

  5. American Cannibal | Feb 12, 2014 at 1:53 pm |

    “Unless you’re living in some kind of Confederate South time capsule deep beneath the Earth, then the n-word is absolutely verboten. And with good reason. But still, we – and I mean the media and American culture as a whole – don’t want to give up on that word, so along comes other words that deep down we know means the same thing. Like “thug.””


  6. BuzzCoastin | Feb 12, 2014 at 2:34 pm |

    more heinous than the N word
    are the 1.5 million blacks presently incarcerated
    used as slaves for the mibc
    under the guise of law enforcement & justice
    worse yet
    most aMerkins think that 10% of the population
    commits 99% of the crimes
    and assumes that most prisoners
    should be dark skined
    while the honkey banksters walk free

    • American Cannibal | Feb 12, 2014 at 2:46 pm |

      “honkey banksters”

      We’re picking up what you’re laying down, Buzz (winky-wink-wink):

      • OMG, DA JEWS!!!!
        All this code is making my head hurt.

      • kowalityjesus | Feb 13, 2014 at 3:32 am |

        I don’t get why Catholics have the Star of David in their symbolism and Masons have the Star of David prominently but they gravely dislike each other. How much silliness is occult symbology, and when will people give up on the Unified Conspiracy Theory?

      • Anti-Crowley | Feb 13, 2014 at 8:14 pm |

        Odd that this anti-racism piece begins to draw in anti-Semitic posts. A bit of logic that may help concerning all the Jews involved in banking and Hollywood as compared to the rest of the Jews in the world. All cats are animals=true, all animals are cats=False.

        • American Cannibal | Feb 13, 2014 at 8:24 pm |

          Oh, boy! Anti-Crowley is back to intentionally misunderstand everything. Can’t wait till you get to the good stuff!

          • Anti-Crowley | Feb 13, 2014 at 9:00 pm |

            Ooops. I missed the sarcasm in those posts. So all here would agree that there is no Jewish conspiracy right?

          • American Cannibal | Feb 13, 2014 at 9:03 pm |

            You know what my favorite part about this whole discussion? All the “N-Word” emails clogging up in the inbox. Everyone at work thinks I’m racist now.

            : (

          • American Cannibal | Feb 13, 2014 at 9:18 pm |


          • I’m sure a few Jews here and there have conspired about something or other. Who hasn’t?

  7. Ted Heistman | Feb 12, 2014 at 4:31 pm |

    Some black people are thugs. I mean that’s just a fact. Some black people are thugs and some black people are wanna be thugs that emulate thug characteristics. Just like some white people are cowboys and other white people are wanna be cowboys.

    But, really, certain areas are best avoided:

    • American Cannibal | Feb 12, 2014 at 4:34 pm |

      OMG. Down vote for clueless.

      • Ted Heistman | Feb 12, 2014 at 4:49 pm |

        Some black people are thugs. True statement or not?

        • American Cannibal | Feb 12, 2014 at 4:53 pm |

          A thug is a thug. Skin color is completely immaterial. The clueless racist part is when you called white people ‘cowboys’. Why not continue through the thought and call them ‘thugs’ too?

          Also, what the hell is the point of that link? Scared of ‘urban’ areas?

          • Ted Heistman | Feb 12, 2014 at 4:54 pm |

            Highest murder rate per 100,000 of population.

          • kowalityjesus | Feb 12, 2014 at 4:59 pm |

            well I think it is useful to point out that there ARE differences in capability and disposition between Europeans and Africans, I mean if anyone thinks breeding matters at all. But as far as cultural contributions, it is obvious that Africans have had an interesting and undeniable influence on American culture, perhaps at the expense of many urban areas (why the hell is it that black people congregate int he inner city?). I think the fact that American Culture per se lives in the suburbs is fundamentally shit, and I blame race stereotypes, but I also don’t blame people for stereotyping. It is a natural human thing to do, not particularly Christian though.

          • Ted Heistman | Feb 12, 2014 at 5:03 pm |

            Well I am not saying that. I am just saying its not racist to think that some black people are thugs and that its common in black culture for whatever reason to emulate thuggish traits, but also white teens too. Its cool to act like a thug.

            I don’t think its any type of covert code word. Its just a fact.

          • i think this may be a “way you’re saying it” kinda thing. Statements you are making from your side are definitely less generalized than it looks from the other end to some people. Despite your correct usage of the linguistic terms of “some black people” which obviously implys “some, but obviously not all” it leads to a further generalization when mulled over in other people’s heads.

            If people take the statement and thing even the slightest way “maybe i should be more careful around black people” it is seen as racists for better or worse.

          • Ted Heistman | Feb 13, 2014 at 12:57 pm |

            Well, may main objection is to naive white bullshit of trying not too see obvious signs of somebody being a thug in order to seem morally pure.

          • Are you claiming “thug” never means “nigger?” I don’t believe it always does, but surely it sometimes does.

          • American Cannibal | Feb 13, 2014 at 7:51 pm |

            Yeah, absolutely. Whenever Rush Limbaugh or Bill O’Reilly says it, it means the you-know-what-word.

          • Well, when Limbaugh says it, it means “I want a hydrocodone cream pie.”

          • American Cannibal | Feb 13, 2014 at 7:50 pm |

            That makes me sad, not fearful.

          • Ted Heistman | Feb 13, 2014 at 8:06 pm |

            OK. So you seem to claim some moral high ground in this discussion (along with large doses of appeal to ridicule) So let’s just say that you do possesses moral high ground. We disagree because you are moral and I am immoral. So lets just say I agree, but I want to see things your way so I can be moral too. Help me out.
            So I am white. I have faced racial discrimination in the Army at the hands of black NCO’s. I was also bullied by some of my peers who were black in a racially charged way.

            I also had a black step Father, who molested my sister This may have caused her to have emotional problems, and sexual acting out, which led to her sleeping with black guys and getting pregnant. Some of these fine gentlemen assaulted her. She had a biracial child. Eventually she married a white guy and had a white kid. So my neice grew up white basically but wanted to get in touch with her Father and her African American heritage.

            So she visited him, even though he was an unemployed drug addict on welfare. While visiting him, at the age of 16 she lost her virginity by being raped by her Dad’s friend.

            Emotional problems and acting out result, or maybe its unrelated. Anyway she ends up hanging out with black drug dealers and joining a gang. She is assaulted by a black man and hospitalized. She moves back home but eventually returns to the streets, she overdoes on drugs and ends up in the ICU on life support.

            In an unrelated instance, my Mother’s best friend, whom I rented from and shared a house was murdered by her black boyfriend.

            So from my experience my attitude is to be wary of certain black people if they seem to display thuggish traits. To stay at arms length and try not to get sucked into their drama. Given my experience is this an unreasonable stance?

          • American Cannibal | Feb 13, 2014 at 8:31 pm |

            You know what…I see what’s going on here. I think I may know what you need to help you get through this. Have you ever read Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning?

          • Ted Heistman | Feb 13, 2014 at 8:38 pm |

            Thanks for the book suggestion. I guess I don’t see the connection. No I have not read it, but I heard its good.

          • American Cannibal | Feb 13, 2014 at 8:45 pm |

            Good. Please go straight away and read this book. Viktor Frankl was a Holocaust survivor. This book came from that experience 1) How to survive 2) How to maintain humanity in the most awful and globally horrific circumstances imaginable 3) How to self-repair, and forgive, after the trauma so that he himself could move forward without the baggage of self-hate. This is an important book for anyone who has gone through the type of trauma you describe. I absolutely understand where you’re coming from, and you & your family have my full sympathy. This book will help you through this, rise above and beyond the past. It will help you strengthen your own Love and it will help you ‘see’ what the others are saying.

          • Ted Heistman | Feb 13, 2014 at 8:55 pm |

            Thanks. I figured I would keep typing until I encountered some human kindness in response to my honest account of my experience. Looks like It worked out.

          • American Cannibal | Feb 13, 2014 at 8:57 pm |

            I’m a goof, not a meanie. Get thy, thou?, to the library. He will lead to other books that are also helpful.

          • But that guy’s a JOOOOOOO!

          • American Cannibal | Feb 13, 2014 at 9:36 pm |

            A JOOOOOOO!? Oh. What? Jerk off? Jew? Job seeker?

          • When you have to explain a joke mocking racism, it’s time to stop.

            See you guys later.

          • American Cannibal | Feb 13, 2014 at 10:08 pm |

            Oh, can’t roll with the punches tonight, Andy? Fine. You just take your marbles and run on home now. FINE. Go, leave me hanging with nothing to work with. Thanks a lot, poopface.

          • Some of those real deal bullriding cowboys are pretty scummy. I’ve ran into a few, and they didn’t exude well adjusted and law abiding. In fact, it’s probably a good idea to keep your distance.

          • American Cannibal | Feb 13, 2014 at 7:50 pm |

            I know exactly what you’re saying, eclair. I read All the Pretty Horses once, and so I only keep company with Rodeo Clowns.

          • I will ask this once, politely. Stop calling me that.

            The best rodeo clown, John Fire Lame Deer.

          • American Cannibal | Feb 13, 2014 at 8:20 pm |

            My kind of clown!

          • Rhoid Rager | Feb 14, 2014 at 2:05 pm |

            that’s why i worked a self-deprecating/personally-revealing weakness into my nick; in anticipation of fuckheads with a lot of time on their hands like American Canonical.

          • It’s tried and true internet dickwad tactics. It’s so 2001. I am working to breaking away from my troll eater nature. I am struggling with old habits. He’s out for laughs, which I can respect. Yet some things you just don’t do.

          • “I’m so 2008, you’re so 2-thousand-and-late”

          • This hurts!

          • 🙂 Couldn’t help myself…whenever Black Eyed Peas lyrics refer to real life I have a mild aneurysm and start thinking about “lady lumps” and the fact that the word “tasty” is not spelled with an E.

          • It hurt more that I had to think of that lump of infectious saccharine ear worms. LALALALALA… Sings MMM Bop to eqaualize the awful. 😛

          • Well…now I’m hurting.

            “doo-wap-dibbity-dop-dop-doo-wop-dippity-dop-dop-dooo! yeah-yeah!”

          • I’ve been having “Cirrhosis of the Heart” and “Kreibabe” going through my head for the past couple of days. God help me.

          • Holy crap, I am digging this Kreibabe tune.

          • Eric_D_Read | Feb 14, 2014 at 12:52 am |

            No doubt. But they’re fun as hell to party with,.

          • As long as your white, straight, and have a huge belt buckle.

          • Rhoid Rager | Feb 14, 2014 at 2:02 pm |

            no touchy feely, either

          • More like punchy insulty.

      • Ted Heistman | Feb 12, 2014 at 4:53 pm |

        So educate me. What is the predominant demographic of the 25 most dangerous neighborhoods? This is debatable that some black people are thugs? Is it debatable that some people emulate thugs?

        • American Cannibal | Feb 12, 2014 at 4:57 pm |

          This is the kind of thinking that brings us the horrible harass, assault and jail tactics like Stop and Frisk.

          • Ted Heistman | Feb 12, 2014 at 4:58 pm |

            So you dispute the statistics? Or you don’t like common sense inferences?

          • American Cannibal | Feb 12, 2014 at 5:01 pm |


          • Ted Heistman | Feb 12, 2014 at 5:04 pm |

            Nope. Just saying Some Black people are thugs. so calling any given Black person a thug,may be true or might not be true. I don’t think its automatically racist.

          • Common sense is usually wrong. Just sayin’.

          • Ted Heistman | Feb 12, 2014 at 5:18 pm |

            Ok my inference is to avoid areas with high murder rates to avoid being murdered also that probably some thugs live there.

          • Calypso_1 | Feb 12, 2014 at 10:50 pm |

            Most murders are between known associates, not strangers.

          • Yup. The overwhelming majority of acts of violence, whether they result in death or not (including sexual violence), is perpetrated by people known to the victim.

            You’d never know it though, thanks to the skewed focus of the media. I guess that’s why some live in constant fear of the Big Bad ‘Other’.

          • Calypso_1 | Feb 13, 2014 at 10:41 am |

            My experience actually living in ‘bad areas’ is that the adults, including the criminal class will usually treat you well if you are decent and carry yourself with self-respect. It’s only kids 8-15yo that typically pose any problems and then only as a group.

          • I experienced the same. However there is the risk of drive-by shootings. Depending on the area.

          • American Cannibal | Feb 13, 2014 at 12:14 pm |

            All About Respect. You give it, you get it. This has been my experience too living in the jungle. SHit! I mean, city.

          • Yep. I grew up in a renowned “bad area” and while I admit to being happy to move on, the actual level of trouble I personally had in over a decade was pretty minimal. It definitely looked worse from the outside, because of the media’s reporting focus, primarily on pre-teen / teen gang-related activity, that nevertheless tarnished the entire area. The overwhelming majority of peeps were just trying to get along and get by.

          • Eric_D_Read | Feb 16, 2014 at 11:13 pm |

            Mine too, although I’d say as high as 17-20ish can fall into that pattern. The adults (25+) just want to make money as quietly as possible.
            The kids want to make a name for themselves; usually by acting out what they see on TV or hear in popular music.

          • Calypso_1 | Feb 17, 2014 at 12:24 am |

            I agree with with your extension of the age range but I have found their is a distinct change in the social/group & cognitive dynamics of those individuals. In a potential ‘bad’ scenario with that age range your options from a legal and moral perspective also radically shift.

          • Eric_D_Read | Feb 17, 2014 at 12:31 am |

            No doubt there’s a huge difference with dealing with an 18 and 15 year old legally speaking. But either one is just as potentially lethal.
            If I think back to the temperament of myself and my group of friends at those ages; mid to late teens definitely marks a transition period, but we were still quite likely to pick a fight just to have something to do on a Friday or Saturday night. In my experience, we weren’t unusual in that regard.

          • Calypso_1 | Feb 17, 2014 at 12:48 am |

            Oh I have more healthy fear of the lower age range as far as unpredictability. I have done a lot of professional work with violent kids and found that ‘theatre’ just doesn’t work with them. The older they get the more acclimation to rules of violence and bravado occur. You can decipher what the motivations for the actions are and present an escape route. Kids aren’t working in those motivational ranges yet, its all impulsive drive and when that’s intertwined with a fucked up background you don’t know what you might be facing.

          • kowalityjesus | Feb 18, 2014 at 4:51 pm |

            I just went on a retreat with my black friend to my cabin in MI this weekend. With pertinence to “the Ghetto Lifestyle” he told me about the one week in August between 5th and 6th grade when he realized “what am I doing?” and promptly revised his attitude and ultimately direction in life. I’m fuckin glad he did. It was a novel idea to me: one lives the acerbic attitude of ghetto blacks by choice. But realistically, how many archetypes do most black americans have to deal with? I vie relatively few. I comfortably espouse nerd-dom, and have many giants upon whose shoulders I can stand. Not everyone is so lucky.

          • Calypso_1 | Feb 18, 2014 at 5:17 pm |

            There are far fewer “ghetto blacks” than the media would have you believe.
            Realistically, they have as many ‘archetypes’ and ‘giants’ to stand upon as anyone else.
            Realistically, if you do not understand the bias within your sentiment, I suggest that ‘me and my black friend’ testimonials, although a nobel gesture to less fortunate races, may be an inadequate starting place for maintaing the high ground.

          • kowalityjesus | Feb 18, 2014 at 6:44 pm |

            well, I was not using the anecdote to gain street cred or whatever, just a premise for the paradigm. It was hilarious when he told me he realized at age 11 “what am I doing? I don’t have to be like this.” fookin lol. I guess there are enough role models around; you should watch this vid about ND Tyson whose roommate once told him “the black community cannot afford someone of your intellect to become an astrophysicist” it is pressing on the same issue, and a gem of a story.

          • I generally prefer uncommon sense.

            If only it weren’t so damn uncommon…

          • Jin The Ninja | Feb 12, 2014 at 5:57 pm |

            either: common sense inferences or statistics.

            pick one.

            historical and legastic racism (which equals poor education, very little mobility and poverty) , ghettoisation and an industrial-prison complex that has distinct rules for non-white people are a huge reason why black neighboorhoods have higher % of violence. not to mention the institutional racism of the police.

            you really came back with a racist vengeance didn’t you?

          • Ted Heistman | Feb 12, 2014 at 6:08 pm |

            All you are saying is the that the percentage of blacks that are bonifide thugs(whatever percentage that may be) have good reason to be, so you do nothing to dispute my statement that some black people are thugs.

          • Jin The Ninja | Feb 12, 2014 at 10:19 pm |

            no. i was applying context to the issue of violence which you raised.

            applying the ‘thug’ epithet to qualified ‘some’ black people is subversive and racial.

            black culture in the US is multi-faceted and complex. hip hop or ‘urban’ culture is one facet. ‘thug’ can apply to both culture and dress. they don’t inherently intersect. to apply it to people based on an obviously racialised notion of ‘thuggish-ness’ is superficial at best.

            if i say “some white people are racist pricks. ” it doesn’t refer (reflexively) to the dominant euro centric culture that has evolved to include a pretense of equality but with severe institutional disparity. it has no context. that is what i am saying.

        • Eric_D_Read | Feb 12, 2014 at 9:28 pm |

          Pattern recognition be mad raciss, yo.

    • kowalityjesus | Feb 12, 2014 at 4:52 pm |

      yeah, unfortunately the “Thug Life” is a prolific aspiration for many blacks in America. I watched a doc last week about the history of drugs in Detroit. It explained a lot, and helped me rationalize the state of the city.

      It is unfortunate that so many spectacularly bad role models of blacks exist in the media and entertainment, and are widely emulated. HOW MUCH could you blame a person who only saw those instances of black behavior for drawing negative stereotypes, commonly known as racism? I think it would actually be a lot more useful to say “race stereotype” than “racist.” “Racist” has jumped the shark and is completely emotionally overcharged.

      • Ted Heistman | Feb 12, 2014 at 5:00 pm |

        Yeah, I think its very problematic.

        • Ted Heistman | Feb 12, 2014 at 5:30 pm |

          I say this as a person with a biracial relative who turned to criminal blacks for role models in order to get in touch with her heritage and ended up in the ICU. Real talk, my friends.

          • Jin The Ninja | Feb 12, 2014 at 5:50 pm |

            a biracial in-law or cousin, does not in fact make ‘real talk’ or anecdotal evidence.

            i say this as an actual multi-racial person.

          • Ted Heistman | Feb 12, 2014 at 6:09 pm |

            Your experience is merely anecdotal as well

          • Jin The Ninja | Feb 12, 2014 at 10:02 pm |

            actually no. mine is 1st hand experience. which is wholly different than 3rd hand perspectives. my experiences and my observations are clearly parallel to and defined within the multi-racial narrative that exists for both contemporary and historical mixed race people. not to mention i made the study of diasporic and multi-racial people a priority for myself. i represent not only myself, a multi-racial perspective, but also a radical left critique of race.

          • Ted Heistman | Feb 12, 2014 at 10:04 pm |

            Ok so since you know everything, tell me how I grew up and what all of my experiences are and what race all my care givers and role models have been.

          • Jin The Ninja | Feb 12, 2014 at 10:06 pm |

            if you were bi or multi-racial, you could give your experiences voice and speak to and with the narrative of non-white people. if you are not bi, multi or non-white- well in fact your narrative is already dominant, but you don’t get to speak for us. sorry.

          • Ted Heistman | Feb 12, 2014 at 10:10 pm |

            There is no “us” in relation to you and black people. I have more experience being black than you do.

          • Jin The Ninja | Feb 12, 2014 at 10:14 pm |

            oh yes, i am sure. why don’t you tell us about the ‘black’ experience?

          • Ted Heistman | Feb 12, 2014 at 10:16 pm |

            Nah, you aren’t worth it.

          • Jin The Ninja | Feb 12, 2014 at 10:20 pm |

            oh too bad, i was waiting for the one man off off broadway black face minstrel show a la ted heistman.

          • kowalityjesus | Feb 12, 2014 at 10:41 pm |


          • Eric_D_Read | Feb 12, 2014 at 10:22 pm |

            Cool. So does that mean you’ll stop presuming to lecture white people on their “narrative dominance” and “privilege” in society, since you cannot possibly know from your 3rd hand perspective what their experiences or observations are?

          • Jin The Ninja | Feb 12, 2014 at 10:26 pm |

            except the fact that i am (in fact) MULTI racial as in a percentage ‘white’ (i much prefer the term french canadian since ‘we’ actually have a unifying and historical culture outside of ‘whiteness’) and as you say live in a dominant white culture so i can in fact speak to experiences of ‘white’ people just as i can speak to the experiences of multi-racial and diasporic peoples. identity is multi-facted and complex, but thanks for that inane suggestion. i won’t be taking it under advisement.

          • Eric_D_Read | Feb 12, 2014 at 10:40 pm |

            Oh no no no no Jin.
            The radical left boilerplate on race is quite clear.
            You’re either white, or you’re not. Whiteness is kind of like pregnancy that way.
            Didn’t they teach you that at the private school where you went to learn all about the marginalized and disenfranchised?

          • Jin The Ninja | Feb 12, 2014 at 10:49 pm |

            all universities in canada are ‘public.’ thanks for that ‘insight’ – it is patently false and while it may represent your perspectives on a multitude of canon writing on the subject- it certainly doesn’t represent the writing itself.

          • Eric_D_Read | Feb 12, 2014 at 10:58 pm |

            You’ve mentioned attending private schooling in past threads.
            I also remember calling you a champagne socialist in the past and your reply was something along the lines of not being a drinker but you do enjoy caviar.

            Face it you smug little phony. You are the 1%.

          • Jin The Ninja | Feb 12, 2014 at 11:07 pm |

            i am certainly not the 1%. i did attend international and catholic schools for high school and lower school. however they are hardly qualifications one puts on the cv.
            i made a smart assed remark to a idiot. do you know how many russians live in toronto? do you know how easily i can procure caviar inexpensively? i may just be an epicurean dandy (sarcasm, get it). that hardly makes me the 1%, i am not rich, not wealthy, not in a profession of particularly gainful employ. the world is a complex place. i may have had a parent who worked in the foreign service. you really don’t know anything you seething mouthbreeder;)

          • How can you claim to speak as part of this “white culture” when you already fracture it with a “french canadian” name? You attack this generalized people you’ve decided exist, and then turn around and deny it.

            Holding a monolithic structure of “white culture” as being completely united is… ignorant to say the least; Again, just because there are similarities(undoubtedly white privalige), does not equate to unitedness. Given enough hubris i could as firmly claim i’m a “mixed race” of many “white cultures” or even “white classes” as easily as you speak of your own mixed heritage. Frankly, maybe some of your ideas about white culture held true in the past, but as time goes by i see it getting more and more fractured, and less and less tangible.

            You can’t choose “whiteness”, “colouredness”, or “both” because both “whiteness” and “colouredness” are highly complex, non-unified ideas. Being multi-racial does not give you the privalige to speak for all kinds of “whites”, and all kinds of “colouoreds” around the world, only the two or so microcultures you belong to in this huge world, and the complex social issues of being a hybrid of those particulars.

            Theres no problem with the racial outrage, but people will listen a lot more if you lose the condescension

          • Jin The Ninja | Feb 13, 2014 at 12:27 pm |

            if you’re not interested in contextualising my response to the comment i responded to, then i am not interested in furthering a discussion with you. and it is now obvious my well-crafted previous response to you was wasted, since it addressed many issues you raised.

          • Fair enough, sometimes its easier to just take the wrench out of the gears and be on your way. (note i posted this long one before i got your previous response, and have since responded to that)

          • Jin The Ninja | Feb 13, 2014 at 12:50 pm |

            just to clarify- you didn’t throw a wrench in anything. you mischaracterised and mis contextualised what i said and how i said it. i do not think ‘whiteness’ is anything other than a social category- which is why my comment RE: quebecois was written as it was, i was responding to someone who thinks it is an actual socio-cultural group. not to mention we do live (whether you admit it or not) in a euro-centric worldview with racial nuance being very little and quite subversive. i don’t really think the discussion between either of us is productive, nor has served a productive purpose in the past. you obviously have your entrenched views, and i have mine. although i will say that when someone of colour (multi faceted and complex as that label may be) asserts their right to claim their own narratives and stories and experiences, i find it very odd indeed you feel so defensively about it.

          • Honestly Jin, I am very curious about other cultures. However, when see stuff like this dominant culture and privilege stuff, it pushes me away. I don’t think anyone owes me anything, or that I deserve special treatment. Nor have I experienced a leg up. Quite the opposite, to be honest. But, I am not rich. I don’t know what it’s like for them. Take that how you will.

          • festernaecus | Feb 13, 2014 at 4:39 am |

            Just out of curiosity, what happens when you run into another biracial person who happens to think you’re full of shit?

          • Ted Heistman | Feb 13, 2014 at 12:45 pm |

            Here is my experience, not for Jin’s sake but for everyone else. In High School my Mother had a black boyfriend, which was kind of like my Step Father, since he lived with us. He was like my main role model at the time. We became really close, but a lot of things about the relationship were fucked up. I won’t get into detail. But really my perspective is to judge people as people and not just try to like them because they are black and you are trying not to be prejudiced.

            My Mom’s side of the family what white and well educated and liberal. Being white and sheltered and naive a lot of white people ignore red flags because they are worried that if they meet a black person that makes them uneasy its because of lingering prejudice. But it may be their intuition.

            So that’s my only point, trying to argue that no black people are thugs is that naive white bullshit. Its actually racist because it means you aren’t holding all people to the same standards.

            But anyway I have lived around African American’;s my whole life and people are people, but its good to know that some black people are dangerous and not try to go out of your way to shut off your common sense with people in order to not seem racist.

          • To be fair, being a mixed race person doesn’t let you speak for every kind of mixed race person. Of course there are parallels, but also many divergences

          • Jin The Ninja | Feb 13, 2014 at 11:59 am |

            i NEVER claimed i spoke ‘for all mixed race people’ i said my experiences, observations are reflected in the greater narrative of the mixed race experience, and that i undertook formal study of mixed race and diasporic groups- and within that study- the emergent history and contemporary narrative reflects a shared common experience. i did not either say every experience was the same. i implied a parallel. which is true. it is also true that whatever and whomever is comprised of multi and bi racial narratives- it is certainly best told (like all subaltern narratives) by a member of said community. we can give power to our own stories, we don’t need racialised voices telling us who we are and who we should be, nor what our (yes, OUR) experiences are. that is what i am saying.

          • The reading-between-the-lines here is that those outside “YOUR” experience are forbidden to have on opinion on the matter. And when one is forbidden from something, they typically either become outraged, or stop listening to you.

            You say you never claim to speak for all mixed races, but before you said to Ted, whom i’ll agree may have been pushing the line(arguable whether he crossed it though) that IF he was bi-racial (to me taken as any type of bi-racial) THEN he would be ALLOWED to speak on the matter. But because he is not, for whatever reason (dominant narrative etc.) he is FORBIDDEN. Your condesention is building up as many walls to discourse as the racism you desire to fight.

          • Jin The Ninja | Feb 13, 2014 at 12:41 pm |

            you certainly have the right to that opinion. however i am not outraged (although i admit to have being so in the past)- i am weary and bored of this. you should re-read what i wrote. he is ENTITLED to his opinion, just as anyone is- what is NOT entitled to- is dominate multi-racial, bi racial or the superfluous catagory of ‘otherness’ liternature and our narratives when he is not himself multi-racial. we can tell our own stories. thanks.

          • I’m noticing a lot of discrepancy between what is said(or meant to be said) and what is heard(or interpreted). Not just with you, or me, but a lot of the comments here.

            With that in mind i was saying people would be outraged with you. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. You couldnt stop it if you wanted. But i also believe that everyone is entitled to be heard. But when you say they are not entitled to “Dominate” a conversation, when i’m only asking for the ability to speak an opinion and have it be heard, there is a very disconcerting discrepancy here. I know condescending has a big negative connotation, and i try not to be insulting but sometimes you gotta be blunt and call a fat guy a fat guy. You have a clear disdain for the dominant culture to the point where even those who would extend an olive branch are not worthy. I suspect the dominant culture will disintigrate in due time on its own, but i’m only worried that whatever replaces it won’t have learned any lessons from the past.

          • Ted Heistman | Feb 13, 2014 at 1:13 pm |

            I like to cut through the bullshit, He is condescending. His schtick is really ridiculous as if being half white and half Chinese and upper middle class is an oppressed minority.

            My white relatives are more black than he is. Call it like it is

          • I like to disect the bullshit to try to see what’s making the animal sick. Its gross and disgusting, and a lot harder if you kick the bull in the nuts.

          • > Call it like it is

            I’ve never encountered that phrase unaccompanied by lies. But then I’m 100% cracker, so it may be my environment.

          • Jin The Ninja | Feb 13, 2014 at 2:28 pm |

            i’m multi racial. not simply 1/2 and 1/2. i’ve explained it before. and i am not upper middle class economically. btw nor was i ever ‘upper middle.’ you have zero idea about my background, and i’d appreciate it if you didn’t presume to speak on my background.

          • Jin The Ninja | Feb 13, 2014 at 2:30 pm |

            total bullshit. totally fucked up of you to jump on the preposterous bandwagon that eric d. read started. i have NEVER claimed to be income or otherwise upper middle class. it is simply a way for a few of you idiots to attack my character. nice try’s simply totally untrue. based on my private school experiences that i READILY admit to- how fucking dumb are you?

          • American Cannibal | Feb 13, 2014 at 2:32 pm |

            Come on Jin. We all know you’re a Caviar Eater. Dan said so.

          • Jin The Ninja | Feb 13, 2014 at 2:39 pm |

            😛 i can go to the 5$ AYCE sushi joint and eat salmon roe on my spicy tuna roll and call myself a ‘connoisseur’ of ;caviar.’ i said one smart assed joke (because i don’t drink- how can i really be the champagne swilling type anyway!?) – which coming from me shouldn’t all that surprising:S and suddenly i am the 1%. if i were the bloody 1 percent, i’d certainly spend my time taking pictures of all the ltd edition sneakers i own and posting them on my #richkids instagram. i’d also choose not to work, instead spendingtime surfing in bali and living in a big ass house surrounded by a harem of tattooed hipster otters- that i rotate periodically- with my own bloody personal sushi chef and a legion of filipina maids that cater to my every (non-sexual) wim.

          • American Cannibal | Feb 13, 2014 at 2:56 pm |

            You are the 5th most interesting man in the world!

          • Jin The Ninja | Feb 13, 2014 at 5:20 pm |


          • American Cannibal | Feb 13, 2014 at 5:25 pm |

            There you go again, getting all entitled to 4th place.

          • Jin The Ninja | Feb 13, 2014 at 5:41 pm |


          • American Cannibal | Feb 13, 2014 at 6:09 pm |

            Yep. As much as this whole silly debate is focused on race, it’s really all about the larger issue of Classism.


          • Calypso_1 | Feb 13, 2014 at 3:09 pm |

            is ‘otters’ queer slang that I have, till now, not been privy to?
            Or are we talking river otters or sea otters?

          • Jin The Ninja | Feb 13, 2014 at 3:32 pm |

            it is queer slang;)

            it refers to someone youngish (20s-30s) with a wiry frame who is quite hairy. it’s related to ‘bear’ ‘cub’ and ‘pup.’ although i fear i am exposing far too much of my sexual preferences through sarcasm. lol.

            although mustelidae are in fact my FAVOURITE branch of the animal kingdom, i have no sexual inclination whatsoever to them.

          • Calypso_1 | Feb 13, 2014 at 3:42 pm |

            Thanks. I’m always amused by what I don’t know and only find out through incidental exposure.

          • Jin The Ninja | Feb 13, 2014 at 3:54 pm |

            oh, no problem. i am always happy to lead someone through the garden of gay metaphor.

          • Calypso_1 | Feb 13, 2014 at 4:02 pm |

            On a different note. If you are inclined, contact Matt for an email address. Your academic background might allow you to suggest some information sources for me that have not been fruitful in my own cursory search.

          • Jin The Ninja | Feb 13, 2014 at 4:22 pm |

            for your email addy? i am certainly very cool with the idea of discussing whatever subject further.

          • Calypso_1 | Feb 13, 2014 at 4:41 pm |


          • Jin The Ninja | Feb 13, 2014 at 4:49 pm |

            sent. if you are inclined to email him likewise, that would be agreeable to me also.

          • Rhoid Rager | Feb 14, 2014 at 3:02 pm |

            me too

          • Jin The Ninja | Feb 14, 2014 at 3:38 pm |

            i’ll shoot matt an email.

          • emperorreagan | Feb 14, 2014 at 4:03 pm |

            So Matt is organizing the anti-Ted conspiracy.

            I suspected as much, since he wrote this essay to recruit members.

          • Jin The Ninja | Feb 13, 2014 at 1:18 pm |

            where is this proverbial ‘olive branch’ and can you copy and paste it for me?

          • Actually…. that is a very good point; it is proverbial. I guess I don’t have one for you. I might be able to explain though, why you aren’t getting any: ironically, because you are offensive and abraisive. The closest thing i got for you is that you need to balance the hard problem of modifying your message without corrupting it, or alternatively re-assessing what “corrupting” it would mean. Primarily, at least in my opinion, one of these re-assessments would be to lessen the perspective in terms of race, and heighten the terms of class.

            Sometimes when multiple people are telling you the same thing, it doesn’t mean the world is messed up, but that you’re fighting against something you shouldnt be fighting against. Given that is a pitfall similar to claiming you should cede to opression, but you got to learn the difference between the situations(Hint: all of these discussions are bottom-up, not top-down).

          • Jin The Ninja | Feb 13, 2014 at 2:10 pm |

            i am struggling to see where in terms of class analysis i failed. i strongly believe in intersectionality. oh well. “multiple people?” really? between the two racists of previous note, i think i’ll take my chances. i can easily and readily cop to abrasive. ‘offensive?’ what i find “offensive” is that quite a few people are seemingly entitled to coded racism without being called on it, and that racism itself is offensive. whether ‘coloured’ ‘mixed’ or ‘not.’ you don’t need to pay lip service- i don’t need your condescension on my tone, method, or writing style. sorry, but i do not. you don’t hold a position of power to which i am attempting to persuade with a discursive argument. we’re merely internet posters- trying our best to hash out our views without any of the nuances of language or conversation. we’re seemingly ‘equal’ on this forum. if you agreed with my perspective (which i don’t actually think you do-which is fine) you would have said genuinely “jin you are right, but you’re coming off as an asshole.” instead you’ve problematised my comments by asserting they contain non-existent subtext and not putting them in their context-that isn’t ‘agreement’ that is a ‘fuck you’ with a smile and a paternalistic pat on the head. i’ll take that. and see you one better.

          • Well if i wanted to simplify it into a sentence i’m more saying “Jin, you are mostly right, but because you’re coming off as an asshole, you won’t allow anyone to help you correct anything let alone allow anyone to WANT to help.” Hostility breeds hostility.

            I suppose I must apologize for the poor way i put things. You’re right that the subtext is not there as you intended to put it there. But what is there, is an after-the-fact effect of the words you choose. They are ostracizing, whether you intend them to be or not. I was presenting this idea as if it was intended from you, and in that I was wrong. I posit that this after-the-fact interpretation though is the same structure that is abraisive about the things that Ted was saying, is equally why neither of you will accept the criticism.

          • Calypso_1 | Feb 13, 2014 at 2:07 pm |

            It is my observation that Jin is often speaking from an academically trained view of various established critical theories, many of which do not have traction in the common parlance. These views have strong traditions of literary and cultural interpretation particularly in and deriving from minority viewpoints.
            Whether in speaking, there is an element of personal form that is disagreeable to others can certainly be held to criticism, but as to the theories themselves, without attempting some familiarity with their views, it is difficult to direct informed opinions regarding individual and group identity within these contexts.

          • Ted Heistman | Feb 13, 2014 at 2:16 pm |

            Real life vs. Bullshit

            Real life:

            Sister molested by black man
            assaulted by a black man.
            Mother’s best friend murdered by a black man.
            Neice-raped by a black man
            Assaulted by a black man

            I am talking about 5 different black men here.

            I have had associations with 5 known murderers in my life all of them black.

            Some black people are thugs. Its just the way it is. But I have worked with rapists too who were white. But overall I think being more cautious around unknown black men as opposed to men of other races…probably warranted, just from an actuarial standpoint.

          • Calypso_1 | Feb 13, 2014 at 2:20 pm |

            Was that supposed to be in reply to my comment?

          • Ted Heistman | Feb 13, 2014 at 2:21 pm |

            Yep. Academic bullshit vs. real life

          • aka

            Book learning vs experience

          • Calypso_1 | Feb 13, 2014 at 2:33 pm |

            I see. So you are both displaying your immense ignorance of the subject matters, lack of interest in informing yourself and denying the real life of the multitudes of persons who, through the experiences of real life, created such theories in order to better understand life and teach others.
            Only you and yours have the real life.

            And since every thread you post eventually progresses to you talking about ‘shit’: Let’s get this straight you – do you know what it is like to see you parade you intellect around? It’s like watching a toddler with a diaper full of crap happily marching around the room while everyone grimaces at the stench.

          • Ted Heistman | Feb 13, 2014 at 2:35 pm |

            I actually think you are jealous of me. You have a “hard on” for me for some reason.

          • American Cannibal | Feb 13, 2014 at 2:36 pm |

            Whistle Blown! That is below the belt. Did you know Calypso was raped by a gang of raging homosexuals??? Over the line, sir. Over the line.

          • Dude, just no. Seriously. Time out for you. Not cool.

          • American Cannibal | Feb 13, 2014 at 2:40 pm |

            Oh. Did I do wrong? Ooopsseee!

          • Calypso_1 | Feb 13, 2014 at 2:42 pm |

            Ted was raped by childhood his shrink, so we’re even.

          • Dude!

          • American Cannibal | Feb 13, 2014 at 2:44 pm |

            Deep wounds. We call have to work through these issues. Drugs help. Also, not being dumb.

          • Calypso_1 | Feb 13, 2014 at 2:43 pm |

            in your dreams

          • Uh oh… It’s getting serious.

            This is all getting way too uncivilized.

            I officially apologize to anyone if I have offended. Let’s all move forward on this.

          • American Cannibal | Feb 13, 2014 at 2:41 pm |

            Enjoy the show, Echar! And keep voting.

          • Well I feel gross being a part of this now. Because it’s getting out of hand. Also I am mentally placing you in the corner and putting a dunce cap on you.

          • American Cannibal | Feb 13, 2014 at 2:43 pm |

            What color is the cap?

          • Orange?

          • American Cannibal | Feb 13, 2014 at 2:45 pm |

            IDK. You tell me….

          • Ok light blue. It’s soothing. I am outta here.

          • American Cannibal | Feb 13, 2014 at 2:54 pm |

            Grr… I thought I baited the hook good.

          • Newp! Armenian cantaloupe.

          • American Cannibal | Feb 13, 2014 at 8:36 pm |

            Ahhh!! You got me! LOL!

            Boy, am I hungry. This looks good. Want a bite? Mmmm…

          • What is the cream made of? I saw Van Wilder: Party Liaison.

          • Those are pure magical dream time.

          • American Cannibal | Feb 13, 2014 at 8:55 pm |

            You like them?

          • What’s the catch?

          • American Cannibal | Feb 13, 2014 at 9:04 pm |

            Catch? Why do you think there is a catch? All I’m asking is if you like those… hehe… Do you like them???

          • I am not answering.

          • American Cannibal | Feb 13, 2014 at 9:19 pm |

            Every party has a pooper and you’re it.

          • Someone’s gotta do it. Without a party pooper there’s no obnoxious in your face party jerk.

          • American Cannibal | Feb 13, 2014 at 9:29 pm |

            Oh… Guess what just came out of the baker’s oven! Yummy, delicious, warm chocolate covered… hehe…((giiigggles))…. You hungry?

          • I reject them. There is evil afoot. Get thee behind me!

          • Calypso_1 | Feb 13, 2014 at 2:47 pm |

            Your fine.

          • I know, but I feel bad. I figure my apologiy will facilitate a shift from dangerous waters.

          • American Cannibal | Feb 13, 2014 at 2:49 pm |

            Repeat this to yourself, I have no control over this…I have no control over this…

            Breathe, slowly.

          • Calypso_1 | Feb 13, 2014 at 2:53 pm |

            These aren’t dangerous waters.

          • To bring it full circle: its just trash talk. Not like anyone’s being a thug here or anything.

          • Calypso_1 | Feb 13, 2014 at 4:03 pm |

            So are you saying white people can’t be thugs?

          • Of course; was that not the clear lesson to be learned by Matt’s article? I mean I’m white, so i gotta keep up with these racist trends right? It’s just hard to keep track of them all.

          • Calypso_1 | Feb 13, 2014 at 4:15 pm |

            Obviously you have a deep bias towards Otters.

          • Ted Heistman | Feb 13, 2014 at 4:24 pm |

            This is Matt’s article in a nutshell:

            “I was treated badly by rednecks growing up
            They also didn’t like black people
            The enemy of my enemy is my friend
            Rednecks used to say N……all the time and in the open
            Now they seem to say “thug” more
            Rednecks are assholes
            They must be wrong about this too
            If a black person is perceived as acting like a thug it can only stem from white racial prejudice
            Therefore “Thug” is the new N-word”.

            My point is that, like many black people, I have experienced violence in my life at the hands of thuggish black people.

            I think its good to differentiate people based on thuggishness instead of seeking to err on the side of never perceiving any black person as a thug.

          • Calypso_1 | Feb 13, 2014 at 4:47 pm |

            “If a black person is perceived as acting like a thug it can only stem from white racial prejudice”

            Demonstrate where in the article you derived that from.

            “like many black people”

            you’re staying with that….really.
            It wan’t that long ago that you harped about being an aryan warrior of the pontic steppes.

          • Ted Heistman | Feb 13, 2014 at 4:48 pm |

            You lack the good faith required for an honest discussion.

          • Calypso_1 | Feb 13, 2014 at 4:51 pm |

            Faith is not required for conversation and honesty is far from what you demonstrate both in the expression of your own thought structures and in ‘analysis’ of others.

          • I’m going say this in a way to try not comparing “black points” because i think that is absolutely ridiculous.

            You know, a lot of people hate cops. They’ve had terrible experience with cops and I understand their mistrust of them. In fact they might act out around a cop because they think they are dirty pigs.

            Personally I’ve never had a bad experience with a cop, and can’t really “feel” the dislike of them. I “get it” because i know there are shitty cops out there, but it doesn’t really get to me deep down. And there’s always in the back of my mind “if you treat the cop like shit, then they will act shitty to you”. Despite people’s experience with bad cops, I’ll may always think there’s just something wrong with cop-hating. If a person moves from somewhere with bad cops, to a place with respectable officers and holds onto their prejudice of them to the point of effecting action, they will only receive reciprocation that confirms their biases.

            I could pretty much say the same of your experience with blacks.

          • Ted Heistman | Feb 13, 2014 at 7:33 pm |

            To complete the analogy: If I scrutinize cops to determine if they are a good cop or a bad cop then that means I am a bad person. If I were a good person (having gone to the right schools and adopted the right attitudes and beliefs) I would assume all cops were good unless proven otherwise. I would give them a huge benefit of the doubt, even though personal experience stretching over 30 years proves otherwise.

            If I were a truly good person with correct beliefs I would discount all cases of assault, rape and murder that I have experienced from cops and witnessed being perpetrated against my friends and loved ones.

          • I mean if you want to steamroll over nuance, then sure, you can believe that about both cops and race; I never said I either perspective was right/wrong/good/bad, just emergent perspectives among given experiences. One’s overly cautious and abrasive, and the other is naive.

          • Ted Heistman | Feb 13, 2014 at 8:13 pm |

            Its “abrasive” to be wary of thuggish black people, due to personal experience of having friends and loved ones assaulted, raped and murdered by said thugs? Let me ask you do you have any friends who have been murdered? Have you ever lived in the same house with a rapist or a murderer?

            I mean I am not saying my experience trumps anyone elses I just don’t see any reason to discount my own experience or act in a way contrary to it to earn brownie points with left wingers.

          • abraisive? yes. Justifiable? Quite possibly from your experience.

            I think where Jin and I differ is that I agree that there can be racism against whites as well as blacks despite the motivation being different. But race hate begets race hate. Of course being wary and to scrutinize is healthy but there’s a line that if crossed only repeats the cycle (I’m not saying you’ve crossed that line, but through your language people seem to be assuming you have)

          • Ted Heistman | Feb 13, 2014 at 9:32 pm |

            Fair enough. I just feel like I started out in the same place as naive left wingers and ended up with maybe a different perspective because of real life experience.

            I mean seems like real life informing your opinion is a good thing. Ironically I am from the North and descended on my Dad’s side from runaway indentured servants who never owned slaves and got along with the Indians.

            On my Mom’s side I am descended from Puritan abolitionists.

            So white guilt has always been a hard sell for me when people try to push it on me.

          • Ted Heistman | Feb 13, 2014 at 4:53 pm |

            That’s my assessment of the article. I am pretty sure its OK to disagree with an opinion piece. People have different experiences in life. Some experiences fit a greater narrative that you see in academia and a broader.. liberal… zeitgeist some don’t.

            My experiences don’t fit the mainstream academic liberal reality tunnels some people live in but I think it fits a lot of other peoples experiences, even many black people. That is what I am saying not that I am black. I am saying many black people would agree that some black people are thugs, from first hand experience.

          • Jin The Ninja | Feb 13, 2014 at 2:26 pm |

            just to clarify, are you saying that black men are more predisposed to sexual and physical violence than white men? and that one should be aware of black men moreso in a social setting because they are ‘predators in waiting’ – not arguing just clarifying if that is what you’re really saying.

          • Ted Heistman | Feb 13, 2014 at 2:29 pm |

            No, I am saying I want you to help me discount my own personal experience so that I can feel ideologically sanitized and self righteous.

            Also I want to feel white guilt. Because I am so privileged to grow up as a lower middle class white person, eating government cheese sandwhiches.

          • Jin The Ninja | Feb 13, 2014 at 2:32 pm |

            that’s not what i asked, nor am i saying you are ‘privileged.’ i am saying you are a racist though.

          • Ted Heistman | Feb 13, 2014 at 2:33 pm |

            Can black people be racist?

          • American Cannibal | Feb 13, 2014 at 2:34 pm |

            Obviously not. Only a white person would say that, DERP.

          • Ted Heistman | Feb 13, 2014 at 2:37 pm |

            No, I am pretty sure that that is Jin’s position that black people cannot be racist. The reason being that white people have done mean shit to them and their families/ancestors.

            So the question remains if several black people have fucked over myself and people in my family, do I get the same free pass? Why or why not?

          • American Cannibal | Feb 13, 2014 at 2:39 pm |


            Need internet timeout?
            : (

          • Jin The Ninja | Feb 13, 2014 at 2:44 pm |

            no one gets a ‘free pass’ for committing atrocities. and racism isn’t an excuse for violence, it is a generalised context to. not the be all end of legitimate reason.

          • Jin The Ninja | Feb 13, 2014 at 2:42 pm |

            anyone can hold deep racial prejudice, whether communally or individually. they can it exert it in different ways and to different effects on different people and different communities. certainly outside of the american context, more homogenous nations of colour are horrifically ethnocentric and racist. hatred is a shared human experience.

          • Ted Heistman | Feb 13, 2014 at 2:44 pm |

            I think you are racist. I think you see black people as inferior to whites/Asians. You hold them to a lower standard.

          • Jin The Ninja | Feb 13, 2014 at 2:44 pm |

            a few months ago, according to you i hated white people. so which is it?

          • Ted Heistman | Feb 13, 2014 at 2:45 pm |

            You hold white people to a higher standard and black people and to a lower one.

          • Jin The Ninja | Feb 13, 2014 at 2:51 pm |

            i see. so by calling you out for gratuitous racism, i am now subversively racist. it doesn’t work like that ted. the world is multi-faceted and grey. it is not clearly black or white. i am mixed, i already know this.

          • Ted Heistman | Feb 13, 2014 at 2:54 pm |

            No, you are very obviously racist. You may not see how you patronize blacks but its obvious to others. Ask some black people.

          • Calypso_1 | Feb 13, 2014 at 2:55 pm |

            As a white southern black man I am totally down with queer french canadian half-chink ninjas.

          • Jin The Ninja | Feb 13, 2014 at 2:56 pm |

            well who knows maybe we share some cajun blood somewhere way back:P

          • Calypso_1 | Feb 13, 2014 at 3:00 pm |

            Though I love cajun culture my french blood is Huguenot.

          • Jin The Ninja | Feb 13, 2014 at 3:05 pm |

            there are some huguenot descendants in the prairies. they’ve all converted now (or mostly) but you can always tell by their last names which are distinct from catholic francophones. i guess that makes you quite familiar with hoodoo and protestant ‘folk’ traditions;). i also love cajun culture. it’s funny, when i went to LA, they asked if i was from nova scotia because apparently a lot of french nova scotians go to cajun country to meet with people of the same last names.

          • Calypso_1 | Feb 13, 2014 at 3:12 pm |

            My surnames in that lineage are Lambert and Moreaux.

            I do have a fair amount of knowledge of various folkways, but only a small amount from any familiar heritage.

          • Jin The Ninja | Feb 13, 2014 at 4:20 pm |


            cardinal, senecal, toussaint, wapousweyan

            maternal: archambault.

            i am the same with folk tradition. i have a bit of knowledge from family (but only a small amount), but a greater knowledge through external study.

          • Calypso_1 | Feb 13, 2014 at 7:18 pm |

            Is Wapousweyan a spelling variation or a regional dialect? That’s unusual.

          • Jin The Ninja | Feb 13, 2014 at 9:34 pm |

            it’s a cree last name that has been transliterated by a french person

          • Jin The Ninja | Feb 13, 2014 at 3:00 pm |

            except i, unlike you, harbour no reservations about people according to their race. i try to meet on the grounds of humanity and get to know them. race can be a useful context for identity, but it is only one context.

          • American Cannibal | Feb 13, 2014 at 2:48 pm |

            please, don’t stop.

          • Calypso_1 | Feb 13, 2014 at 3:16 pm |

            I knew pointing out the poopy pants would bring out the more nuanced flavors of the argument.

          • American Cannibal | Feb 13, 2014 at 3:17 pm |

            Nicely done, sir. All well played.

          • American Cannibal | Feb 13, 2014 at 8:14 pm |


          • American Cannibal | Feb 13, 2014 at 2:33 pm |

            IT”S ON!!!!!! RACE WAR!!!!! UP IN HERE, UP IN HERE!!!


          • Ted Heistman | Feb 13, 2014 at 2:42 pm |

            The reason you irk me is that you hold black people to a different standard as white people. It reveals your racism. You think of black people as inferior. You don’t really see it but that is what you do. I hold people to the same standards. I see people as equal.

          • Jin The Ninja | Feb 13, 2014 at 2:49 pm |

            um. no. that’s not what i am saying at all. don’t try to put your shit on me, thanks. you’re way off the deep end. if you hold everyone as ‘equal,’ there is absolutely no statistical reasons you could give to be more wary of black men. point blank.

          • Ted Heistman | Feb 13, 2014 at 2:51 pm |

            Only because you choose to discount statistics because of your convoluted sociological analysis whereby “they can’t help it” because racism/poverty/oppression.

          • Jin The Ninja | Feb 13, 2014 at 3:08 pm |

            how very… academic of you.

          • American Cannibal | Feb 13, 2014 at 8:11 pm |

            Hitler and Stalin and Mao murdered 130 million people (or, whatever). By your rationale, you should be more worried about murderous Austrians, Georgians and Chinese.

            Here’s the thing: You don’t see other black people as individuals because you’re yielding to fear. That’s the problem.

          • Ted Heistman | Feb 13, 2014 at 8:19 pm |

            No. I do see them as individuals. I judge them as individuals and conclude that some of them are thugs. Your point is that its racist to judge them each as individuals. I should instead judge them as a group but in a positive way.

            Maybe you think that is the morally right option to take whatever a KKKer does and do the opposite. Instead of seeing all blacks as bad see them all as good.

            I find that view unsatisfactory.

          • But if the diagreeable form is more prevalent than the content that is being defended, what is to be done. Is outrage of ignorance more justified than a desire to teach?

          • Ted Heistman | Feb 13, 2014 at 12:50 pm |

            I am not biracial but I believe I am more culturally black than Jin, having been raised partly by black folks, dated black and biracial women an having several multi-racial people in my family and having attended Black churches.

          • Calypso_1 | Feb 13, 2014 at 12:59 pm |

            Shit, by that definition, we’re Soul Brothers.
            You not from the Dirty Souf though so I get more black points.

          • Ted Heistman | Feb 13, 2014 at 1:01 pm |

            My Mom’s boyfriend was from West Virginia. Went to Brown though.

          • Calypso_1 | Feb 13, 2014 at 1:01 pm |

            NOT the Dirty Souf. Shows what you know honkey.

          • Ted Heistman | Feb 13, 2014 at 1:06 pm |

            The Hamptons, West Virgina, same thing, right?

          • Calypso_1 | Feb 13, 2014 at 1:15 pm |

            The Hamptons & W.Virginia have nearly the exact demographic % of blacks. Which is significantly lower than the national average.
            As opposed to my own place of residence which is majority black.

          • Ted Heistman | Feb 13, 2014 at 1:18 pm |

            I think former NFL players are more black though than other black people, with the exception of NBA players, so you lose.

          • Calypso_1 | Feb 13, 2014 at 1:19 pm |

            Cracker, you can not define my experience as a white southern black man.

          • American Cannibal | Feb 13, 2014 at 8:06 pm |

            Ahh.. But you missed the larger point: W. Virginia is full-o-poor folk.


          • Calypso_1 | Feb 13, 2014 at 8:19 pm |

            So your saying that rich NFL black folk are more oppressed by their bondage to wealth than poor white people that live in WV. And that these chinese coal miners engage in blackface to show their racially innate sense of solidarity with the struggles of nonminority-minorities while subtly mocking the phallic supremacy of the the black man.

          • Kyriarchy hates us all.

          • American Cannibal | Feb 13, 2014 at 8:39 pm |

            All I’m saying is poor people, black or white, are the most oppressed group in America.

          • No, poor fat people.

          • See someone downvoted. That’s how oppressed fat people are.

          • American Cannibal | Feb 13, 2014 at 10:03 pm |


          • Calypso_1 | Feb 13, 2014 at 8:41 pm |

            What I mean is that I am more Chinese than you because I just ate egg foo yung.

          • American Cannibal | Feb 13, 2014 at 8:47 pm |

            Great. Now you sound like Ted.

          • I disagree. Children are the most oppressed group, worldwide.

          • American Cannibal | Feb 13, 2014 at 9:00 pm |

            Please. If we didn’t oppress the children, then we wouldn’t have fine, outstanding workaholic adults to run the machines and win wars. Try another one.

          • Children are “poor people,” too.

          • I disagree, otters are the most oppressed group, worldwide

          • You just broke the universe.

          • Calypso_1 | Feb 13, 2014 at 8:43 pm |

            You don’t have the authority to define my universe as broken.

          • That was a compliment. As in a reconciliation of opposites, or masterful interruptive technique.

          • Calypso_1 | Feb 13, 2014 at 9:25 pm |

            we grant you permission to compliment us, as we understand this may bestow upon you pleasant associative feelings.

          • Jin The Ninja | Feb 13, 2014 at 1:07 pm |

            if by attending black churches, having black friends, and dating black dudes – i too can be culturally ‘black’ well by your definition i qualify, i also lived in california for an extended period of time during middle school and the early part of high school. i went to school with lots of children of nfl’ers and basketballers. it doesn’t actually make me culturally black though.

          • Calypso_1 | Feb 13, 2014 at 1:08 pm |

            Did it make you a basketballer?

          • Jin The Ninja | Feb 13, 2014 at 1:14 pm |

            lol. only if by second hand proxy. i still prefer my sports to consist of a straight sword, circle walking and a big-ass bagua ghost sabre.

          • Calypso_1 | Feb 13, 2014 at 1:43 pm |

            Have you ever checked out Scott Sonnon’s Tactical Gymnastics? He’s broken down all the tumbling/ukemi from various disciplines in a well codified system.

          • Jin The Ninja | Feb 13, 2014 at 5:22 pm |

            i will def. check him out. he seems to have a great build for martial arts.

          • Ted Heistman | Feb 13, 2014 at 1:09 pm |

            You are right it doesn’t. Culturally you are a spoiled white hipster.

          • Jin The Ninja | Feb 13, 2014 at 1:11 pm |

            not white, and now too old to be a hipster.
            actually i was disowned by my father for being queer when i was 18 or 19. so whatever i am, is what i’ve made for myself. not some by-product of family- which sort of annuls your charge of being ‘spoiled.’

          • Ted Heistman | Feb 13, 2014 at 1:14 pm |

            Oh, how you’ve suffered….

          • Jin The Ninja | Feb 13, 2014 at 1:15 pm |

            not at all;) i’ve been fortunate enough to forge my own familial identity outside of narrow biological paradigms.

          • Ted Heistman | Feb 13, 2014 at 1:54 pm |

            What comes around goes around buddy.

          • Jin The Ninja | Feb 13, 2014 at 1:59 pm |

            for sure, buddy.

          • Ted Heistman | Feb 13, 2014 at 2:01 pm |

            The point is you make false presumptions about other peoples experiences and come off as self righteous about it. You also make invidious class distinctions between yourself and others. Basically you are a bigot while playing the martyr.

          • Jin The Ninja | Feb 13, 2014 at 2:12 pm |

            class distinctions? copy and paste for me. better than playing the sage while actually being the idiot.

          • American Cannibal | Feb 13, 2014 at 8:04 pm |

            Are you fellas gonna start a circle jerk? ‘Cause I may want in on that.

          • Jin The Ninja | Feb 13, 2014 at 9:33 pm |

            if i projectile vomit in your direction, you can’t get all litigious on me.

          • American Cannibal | Feb 13, 2014 at 9:34 pm |

            But I thought you were into otters.

          • Jin The Ninja | Feb 13, 2014 at 9:36 pm |

            but not bears.

          • American Cannibal | Feb 13, 2014 at 9:42 pm |

            Oh. Ted? Yeah. Well. Can’t you two kiss and make up or something? Shave?

          • Jin The Ninja | Feb 13, 2014 at 9:44 pm |

            this is how i know you are str8:P you’ve obviously never ‘been’ with a hairy guy who has recently shaved his chest…..let me say for the record- not hot.

          • American Cannibal | Feb 13, 2014 at 9:46 pm |

            AAAaahhh!! Ya got me! It’s not only not hot, you can get back burn from the stubble. So I understand.

          • Jin The Ninja | Feb 13, 2014 at 10:09 pm |


          • American Cannibal | Feb 13, 2014 at 10:17 pm |


          • American Cannibal | Feb 13, 2014 at 8:04 pm |

            Ted? You in?

          • festernaecus | Feb 13, 2014 at 10:09 pm |

            If every point begins with “as a multi-racial queer Canadian academic,” you’re kind of auto-marginalizing, no?

          • Jin The Ninja | Feb 13, 2014 at 10:12 pm |

            a-i have never ever used ‘canadian’ as an ethnic modifier. in fact, i often rally against nationalism.

            b- only discussions of identity, to which identifying oneself is considered basic and trademark in radical left discourse re: race/identity. it refers to speaking from a position of experiential knowing-ness or understanding.

            c- who are you?

          • festernaecus | Feb 13, 2014 at 10:16 pm |

            I’m festernaecus.

          • Jin The Ninja | Feb 13, 2014 at 10:19 pm |

            and i’m not an academic, i have an academic background- as does rhoid, as does calypso. it isn’t something i identify with or by.

          • Ted Heistman | Feb 13, 2014 at 10:23 pm |

            is this something new?

          • American Cannibal | Feb 13, 2014 at 10:26 pm |

            OMG. Yes. Are you going to start up again? I’ll go get the popcorn. WEEEEE!!!!

          • Rhoid Rager | Feb 14, 2014 at 2:32 pm |

            it’s like seeing someone purposely brush against someone else at the bar, spilling their beer…

          • Calypso_1 | Feb 14, 2014 at 4:00 pm |

            That’s when you buy the offending party (and any cohorts) a few rounds to further reduce their reaction time while you call for reinforcements.

          • Rhoid Rager | Feb 14, 2014 at 10:58 pm |

            The best we can do here is upvotes…

          • Jin The Ninja | Feb 13, 2014 at 10:27 pm |


          • American Cannibal | Feb 13, 2014 at 10:27 pm |

            Oh, btw. Jin doesn’t want to invite you to the circle jerk ((he says you’re too hairy)) ((like a gorilla)). Just thought you should know you weren’t invited because racism.

          • Jin The Ninja | Feb 13, 2014 at 10:31 pm |

            lol. i’ll go play on al jazeera if you start shit.

          • American Cannibal | Feb 13, 2014 at 10:33 pm |

            Nah. Al Jazeera mods suck.

          • American Cannibal | Feb 13, 2014 at 10:19 pm |

            IDK, dude. Better tread lightly with this one named Fester. He’s got a high score.

          • festernaecus | Feb 13, 2014 at 10:22 pm |

            Don’t you dare call me “tu.”

          • Jin The Ninja | Feb 13, 2014 at 10:28 pm |

            i think i was well within my right to greet overt familiarity with familiarity.

          • festernaecus | Feb 13, 2014 at 10:33 pm |

            I don’t know that I’d call it “overt familiarity,” unless that indicates simply that I dared to converse with you. Literally everything I know about you is culled from what you’ve voluntarily shared with us here, on this forum, in the last 24 hours. If you didn’t want this stuff referenced, why did you make such a point of telling us about it?

          • Jin The Ninja | Feb 13, 2014 at 10:40 pm |

            you can reference anything you want, just reference it correctly.

          • festernaecus | Feb 13, 2014 at 11:06 pm |

            No, but in the course of several sentences, all in the context of this discussion, you told us that you were queer, french-canadian, and multi-racial, and then went on to trumpet your formal study. I aggregated that information. I do apologize for mistaking you for an academic, and mistaking french-canadian for ‘Canadian.’ The contempt for the very idea of a nation-state dripping off those quotation marks is palpable. Also apologies for not knowing you don’t like to capitalize. And for spelling “capitalize” with a z.

            I sure am super-impressed with you being a longstanding board member, though. Mad props.

          • Calypso_1 | Feb 13, 2014 at 11:13 pm |

            on no, you went for the spelling.
            quick man, grab a copy of the oxford-english before it’s too late!

          • Jin The Ninja | Feb 13, 2014 at 11:14 pm |

            oh thanks, bro, fist bump?
            are you google personified? do you aggregate often? or are you simply cloying and overly familiar on discussions of metallica as well?

          • festernaecus | Feb 13, 2014 at 11:15 pm |

            Um. Yeah, I dig metal.
            And this is the internet, so yes.

          • Jin The Ninja | Feb 13, 2014 at 11:28 pm |

            netiquette 101: get acquainted with a community first before you feign knowledge regarding its customs. and you can spell ‘capitalise’ all you want- i neither corrected you nor did i care.

          • festernaecus | Feb 13, 2014 at 11:24 pm |


          • Jin The Ninja | Feb 14, 2014 at 12:02 am |

            that should be ‘yes, mr. jin, sir.’

          • festernaecus | Feb 14, 2014 at 12:21 am |

            I like yer moxy, kid.

          • Jin The Ninja | Feb 14, 2014 at 12:27 am |


          • Ted Heistman | Feb 13, 2014 at 10:31 pm |

            “only discussions of identity, to which identifying oneself is
            considered basic and trademark in radical left discourse re:
            race/identity. it refers to speaking from a position of experiential
            knowing-ness or understanding.”

            Is this new?

          • Jin The Ninja | Feb 13, 2014 at 10:31 pm |


          • Ted Heistman | Feb 13, 2014 at 10:34 pm |

            You said before you saw at as your duty to speak up for “people of color” on disinfo, who you felt were under represented here. So you only meant Canadians of mixed Asian ancestry?

          • Jin The Ninja | Feb 13, 2014 at 10:39 pm |

            people of colour (yes, i am a mixed person of colour- i can’t pass) are UNDERrepresented on the board yes. with my familiarity and comfort discussing racial politics and identity- i do feel i must give voice to a specific view(s). ‘asians’ are not a singular ethnic group btw. i also have native and aforementioned french ancestry with a wee bit of british thrown in for good measure.
            i’m still coloured and i am still going to speak with subaltern voice- get it?

          • Ted Heistman | Feb 13, 2014 at 10:41 pm |

            No, I don’t get it.

          • Jin The Ninja | Feb 13, 2014 at 10:41 pm |


          • Ted Heistman | Feb 13, 2014 at 10:44 pm |

            I think you like to identify with oppressed minorities in order to feel morally superior. I really don’t see the pay off other than to your ego. I am skeptical that your motivation is to help anyone. I am also skeptical that PETA wants to help animals. I think acting superior and being nasty is the point.

          • Jin The Ninja | Feb 13, 2014 at 10:47 pm |

            so chinese people are not a minority? metis people? francophone canadians? mixed race people?
            if you don’t see it, well the sky must be blue isn’t it.

          • Ted Heistman | Feb 13, 2014 at 10:48 pm |

            No, Chinese people are not a minority. In fact the average person is Chinese.

          • Jin The Ninja | Feb 13, 2014 at 10:50 pm |

            chinese people in north america are a majority? there is no historical or legal basis for their oppression? there is no racism against them?

          • Ted Heistman | Feb 13, 2014 at 10:51 pm |

            Chinese are an affluent, well educated minority in the United States and in many other countries where they are a minority.

          • American Cannibal | Feb 13, 2014 at 10:52 pm |

            Really? Cause where I live they collect cans off the street for cash because they’re poor.

          • Ted Heistman | Feb 13, 2014 at 10:55 pm |

            Well that settles it then. All Chinese people are black and are qualified to speak on behalf of all “people of color”

          • American Cannibal | Feb 13, 2014 at 11:01 pm |

            Well, I mean. I’m sure there are affluent Chinese…In fact, I know there are. But in this city (NYC), there is a lot of Chinese slave labor, so… But, going back to you point about ‘qualifications’, I don’t see why your harping on that point.

          • Ted Heistman | Feb 13, 2014 at 11:04 pm |

            Ok, so some white people collect cans, I’m white therefore I can speak on behalf of all oppressed minorities and if I label somebody else as “the oppressor” I can be nasty towards then all the while painting myself as being altruistic instead of simply itching for a nasty argument out of a desire to feel superior.

          • American Cannibal | Feb 13, 2014 at 11:29 pm |

            whatever. I don’t care anymore tonight.

          • Ted Heistman | Feb 13, 2014 at 11:37 pm |

            Yeah that conversation happens a lot. I always see white guys pointing and yelling at random black dudes and making them cry.

          • Ted Heistman | Feb 13, 2014 at 11:37 pm |

            I really see your point now.

          • Jin The Ninja | Feb 13, 2014 at 11:19 pm |

            you do realise the whole ‘model minority’ thing is a bullshit and racist myth right?

          • Ted Heistman | Feb 13, 2014 at 11:24 pm |

            I didn’t mention any “model minority thing” I just said that being part Chines doesn’t qualify you as speaking for blacks and other minorities any more than I am.

          • Jin The Ninja | Feb 13, 2014 at 11:32 pm |

            actually you repeated the ‘model minority myth’ verbatim. time to google.

            in your previous comments you unequivocally stated that you ARE uniquely qualified as ‘culturally black.’ i will concede the point if it matters. you, ted heistman, are culturally black, you can speak for all black people everywhere- especially the mixed race ones (bi racial, blasian, blatinos etc), you reserve the right to be wary of black men. like i said do what you want, say what you want. it neither affects or offends me at this point. you are entitled to your own worldview. i simply want nothing more to do with that paradigm.

          • Ted Heistman | Feb 13, 2014 at 10:54 pm |

            I mean you are qualified to speak as a person of Chinese descent, I am not disputing that. I just don’t see how you are uniquely qualified to speak on behalf of any other minority.

          • American Cannibal | Feb 13, 2014 at 10:55 pm |

            Jin is the only minority here, so.. you work with what you got. Let’s move on… tell me more about these affluent and influential Chinese ruling America….

          • Ted Heistman | Feb 13, 2014 at 10:56 pm |

            I didn’t say that.

          • American Cannibal | Feb 13, 2014 at 10:59 pm |

            What are you trying to say then?

          • Ted Heistman | Feb 13, 2014 at 11:01 pm |

            I am saying people are only qualified to speak from their own experience. And I see Jin operating from a double standard. He sees it as true for others but not himself. He can speak on behalf of all opressed and others can only speak on behalf of “the oppressor” once he says they are.

          • Jin The Ninja | Feb 13, 2014 at 11:19 pm |

            i am mixed race. many things. at the same time. not one thing, yet many. not chinese, not french, not white nor coloured. mixed. i am qualified to speak on racial politics from a mixed race and academic perspective.

          • Ted Heistman | Feb 13, 2014 at 11:22 pm |

            Only on behalf of your own unique admixture.

          • Jin The Ninja | Feb 13, 2014 at 11:26 pm |

            no. as a human being. the multi-racial narrative is well-defined and intersectional. in your very small worldview – that may refer to only 1 thing, it doesn’t it’s INTERSECTIONAL. anyway, i am going to peace out now. think what you may, do what you want. nite.

          • Ted Heistman | Feb 13, 2014 at 11:30 pm |

            So you are saying you are uniquely qualified to speak as a human being, and that differentiates you from everybody else, on here in some mysterious way. Somehow you uniquely intersect with humanity as a whole while others don’t.

            Makes sense that you would say that. You seem to have that perspective.

            Actually sounds racist though.

          • Jin The Ninja | Feb 13, 2014 at 11:38 pm |

            no ted, any human being with a sense of social justice is entitled to speak against oppression and racism that is what i meant.
            my identity intersects with other identities. not my human-ness. my experiences intersect with other experiences. my narrative is part of a larger narrative(s). if that is racist. oh well.

          • Ted Heistman | Feb 13, 2014 at 11:40 pm |

            Its only racist if you think its doesn’t apply to everyone else also. Really you are trying to set up a reason to call yourself superior based on racial identity. You just can’t see it.

          • Jin The Ninja | Feb 13, 2014 at 11:44 pm |

            being mixed race isn’t what makes me superior. and it does apply to all human experiences- it doesn’t mean all people are part of every narrative in existence.

          • Ted Heistman | Feb 13, 2014 at 11:46 pm |

            Oh, so what is it that you think makes you think you are superior? Actually its a minor point, I don’t really care why. You just proved my point. Thanks


          • American Cannibal | Feb 13, 2014 at 10:50 pm |

            huh. I never knew that.

          • American Cannibal | Feb 13, 2014 at 10:51 pm |

            Who built the railroads?

          • Calypso_1 | Feb 13, 2014 at 10:57 pm |

            Do you need help Ted?

          • Ted Heistman | Feb 13, 2014 at 10:58 pm |

            Yeah, I need your help, because you are so kind.

          • Calypso_1 | Feb 13, 2014 at 11:01 pm |

            Do you believe that capacity and motivation for assisting others is determined by kindness?

          • Ted Heistman | Feb 13, 2014 at 11:02 pm |

            Case in point. You have twisted perspective.

          • Calypso_1 | Feb 13, 2014 at 11:04 pm |

            You are stating that I have twisted a particular perspective or that my perspective in itself is twisted?

          • Ted Heistman | Feb 13, 2014 at 11:05 pm |

            I am saying you don’t say anything to me in a guileless way.

          • Calypso_1 | Feb 13, 2014 at 11:11 pm |

            How is trying to clarify what you are asking me so that it actually consists of a coherent statement an example of guile?

          • Can a subaltern speak?

          • Jin The Ninja | Feb 13, 2014 at 11:35 pm |

            in slam poetry.

          • It does admit subjectivity.

          • American Cannibal | Feb 13, 2014 at 7:44 pm |

            To be human is to suffer.

          • I accept you. I am unfavored because I don’t practice mormonism, and didn’t go on a mission.

          • Calypso_1 | Feb 13, 2014 at 2:41 pm |

            I am proud of you.

          • Thank you 🙂

          • Jin The Ninja | Feb 13, 2014 at 5:31 pm |

            you know, i appreciate that. and likewise.
            maybe we can start a ‘black’ sheep club;).

          • Calypso_1 | Feb 13, 2014 at 5:52 pm |

            Suitably freaky mascot.

          • Jin The Ninja | Feb 13, 2014 at 6:11 pm |

            perfect! i was planning on sacrificing a wickedly horny black goat-sheep-thing to el-hadad this very evening…

          • You are welcome.I was going to say black sheep, but considering how things were going here. I chose another way to say it.

          • festernaecus | Feb 13, 2014 at 6:33 pm |

            Wow, you just got all the angles

          • Jin The Ninja | Feb 13, 2014 at 9:37 pm |

            yeah, i guess you could say i’m a magical chink that way.

          • festernaecus | Feb 13, 2014 at 10:05 pm |

            See, that was a real missed opportunity. I said you had all the angles, so you should have gone with “magical slant.”

          • American Cannibal | Feb 13, 2014 at 10:09 pm |

            ha, ha!

          • American Cannibal | Feb 13, 2014 at 3:10 pm |


          • Jin The Ninja | Feb 13, 2014 at 3:37 pm |

            must be my upper crust background, but i had no idea these things even existed. i will have to now find an apropos foodstuff for those pesky white people who are culturally asian.

          • American Cannibal | Feb 13, 2014 at 3:38 pm |

            Next time your maid goes to the supermarket, tag-along!

          • Jin The Ninja | Feb 13, 2014 at 3:47 pm |

            i am aghast at the suggestion my maids (plural) shop! it is my PA’s job to arrange all my marketing- which is shipped by private jet from harrod’s food floor on a bi-weekly basis, prepared by paltrow’s former macrobiotic chef! everything else is table service at Jean Georges or Le Bernardin!

          • Rhoid Rager | Feb 14, 2014 at 2:23 pm |

            in my uni days they used to call us eggs…..i’ve grown significantly hard-boiled since then. 😉

          • Jin The Ninja | Feb 13, 2014 at 1:03 pm |

            “The reading-between-the-lines here”

            personally, i would go as far to say that that the hidden subtext of my writing says nothing of the sort, rather your inability to read what i actually wrote- and your strange perceptions of it is what lends itself to that ‘interpretation.’ all i am saying, all i ever said, is that as a multi-racial person, i reserve the right to voice my own experiences as actually existing within the narrative of literary and academic writing on mixed race and diasporic peoples- and in the lives of all my siblings, cousins who fall into a ‘mixed race categorisation.’ and that people should not attempt to define what race means for us, and for anyone else, nor attempt to dominate our narratives. point blank.

          • American Cannibal | Feb 13, 2014 at 6:07 pm |

            Blame Matt Staggs. He’s the one repeatedly using the N-word. His whole damnn post full of that terrible racial slur.

          • Rhoid Rager | Feb 14, 2014 at 2:20 pm |

            I was thinking that this conversation would have went better with a mick of rye and 4lbs of peanuts.

      • I live in a mostly-black, poor neighborhood. From the admittedly limited conversations I’ve had with neighbors (it just doesn’t come up casually, you know?) I don’t think anyone here would choose the “thug” life if they thought they could do any better.

        As mentioned elsewhere, it’s different with gangs.

        To riff off of one of your comments: “HOW MUCH could you blame a person who only saw those instances of black behavior for [[emulating that behavior]]?”

    • I wonder if some people would be as up in arms if you had used the word criminals?

  8. Ted Heistman | Feb 12, 2014 at 4:33 pm |

    I don’t think Sheppard is a thug, or a wanna be thug though, more like a wanna be WWF wrestler…

  9. mannyfurious | Feb 12, 2014 at 5:17 pm |

    Any black person who shows any amount of arrogance is labeled a “thug.” Dez Bryant has a hissy fit on the sideline, he’s a “thug.” Phillip Rivers has a hissy fit on the sideline, he’s a “competitor.” If you can’t recognize the double standard you’re a fucking idiot and you’re part of the problem. Institutional, even “unconscious” racism exists, and it is a problem.

    • Ted Heistman | Feb 12, 2014 at 5:27 pm |

      I personally thought he acted more like a WWF wrestler. He even made his voice low and raspy like Hulk Hogan. Didn’t seem like a real thuggish way to talk, to me. I still disagree though that its always racist to say thug.

      • mannyfurious | Feb 12, 2014 at 5:58 pm |

        I agree, on both counts–that he came off as a Wrestler and that saying “thug” is not always a racist thing to say. Context is important in these kinds of conversations.

    • American Cannibal | Feb 12, 2014 at 5:37 pm |

      You just created the double-standard in your comment and applied it to Green’s comment. How do you know Green would not call Phillip Rivers a thug for a-hole behavior?

      Quite frankly, the entire NFL, and all their fans, inherently represent & participate in violent thug culture.

      • mannyfurious | Feb 12, 2014 at 6:00 pm |

        I didn’t create a double standard. I made a general observation and failed to qualify it as such. Now, even if I had specifically said, “Hey green, you know you’d call Phillip Rivers a ‘competitor’ if he did the same thing” that would be an incredibly stupid and condescending thing for me to say, but it still wouldn’t be a double standard.

        • American Cannibal | Feb 12, 2014 at 6:06 pm |

          “If you can’t recognize the double standard you’re a fucking idiot and you’re part of the problem. Institutional, even “unconscious” racism exists, and it is a problem.”

          You’re pretty condescending right there, presuming Green does not recognize unconscious & institutional racism.

          • mannyfurious | Feb 12, 2014 at 6:08 pm |

            Well, yeah, I don’t know about you, but I can definitely be a dick from time to time.

          • American Cannibal | Feb 12, 2014 at 6:14 pm |


          • mannyfurious | Feb 12, 2014 at 8:15 pm |

            I don’t type the following letters in the following order, very often, but: Lol.

            It’s because I’m Hispanic, isn’t it?

          • American Cannibal | Feb 12, 2014 at 8:29 pm |

            You’re Hispanic? Wow. I had no idea. I thought Manny was an Australian name.

  10. emperorreagan | Feb 12, 2014 at 7:26 pm |

    Speaking in coded language and playing on people’s fears and biases – whether it’s to hide playing on racism with welfare queens and thugs or if it’s the coded language of the apocalyptic sects of Christianity – is one of the ways the rightward shift is accomplished.

    Also, I enjoyed the essay.

  11. American Cannibal | Feb 12, 2014 at 8:37 pm |

    This is radio program is being broadcast right now on WNYC. It’s riveting and, just, jaw dropping. It’s well worth listening to if you can find it in your nape-of-the-woods:

  12. Different meanings in different contexts.

    I actually asked(!) someone heavily involved in hip-hop culture what the difference was between “thug” and “gangsta.” The answer was that both were basically amoral, but being “gangsta” was something elite and idealistic, whereas “thugs” just don’t care. When I hear the term used in pop culture, this is what I assume is meant.

    Then again, when I see a gun classified ad that says “NO THUG SALES,” I’m pretty sure they’re not talking about musical sub-types.

    • Another word for thug is ruthless.

    • American Cannibal | Feb 12, 2014 at 8:58 pm |

      A few months ago I was walking down the street one night in the Village and this dude on a bike (he happened to be black) shouted out, Yo, you Gangsta!

      And I shouted back, You god damnn right I am.

      It made me feel good, completed my day.

      (100% true story)

  13. Trash-talking is for BEFORE the game.

  14. Mick-Doscious | Feb 12, 2014 at 9:14 pm |

    This is just more entitlement group behavior; you can now add “thug” to “nigger” and “gentrification”, just because some famous person said so. What a load of utter hokey pokey to get the people riled up and spinning in circles. Grow up, the whole lot of you.

  15. I wash my hands of this. It’s turned into the non-reality blame game.

  16. VaudeVillain | Feb 13, 2014 at 12:19 am |

    Not saying that there isn’t anything to this, but as a New Englander who listens to sports radio I am quite certain that the term “thug” gets tossed around regarding hockey players quite a bit, and almost exclusively in reference to white guys.

    I definitely do think that term was applied to Sherman largely because of his skin color, and I also believe that what he said was neither particularly offensive nor unusual. It was definitely arrogant, but for an athlete of his caliber that is pretty much a job requirement.

  17. Matt, you a crack thug. This article is some stoopid boolshits.

  18. Adam's Shadow | Feb 13, 2014 at 1:13 am |

    Good article, I pretty much agree wholeheartedly.

    I’m sorry, are we supposed to be surprised, upset, or enraged by any of this? A large black man who tackles people for a living acts mildly threatening and it’s a big fucking deal because…? Plenty of people, black, white, brown, mocha, male, female, mocha female, (mmmm… mocha female) act threatening all the time in a variety of given circumstances. How should this even be an issue? As Matt pointed out, MMA fighters do this on a regular basis; are they “thugs?” What about “meat-heads” or “knuckle-draggers?” The whole thing just reeks of assigning a label or insult because you have a visceral reaction to who they are or what they look like.

    This is just another example of where a pro athlete insults another player because he/she feels like they are not being given enough respect; Matt described this perfectly. None of this is should be surprising except for the weird backlash against Sherman, who was just doing what many pro athletes do on a regular basis: talk shit. While I don’t know if it’s code for the n-word to call him a “thug,” I do know that a large black man with dreadlocks who tackles people for a living scares some people for very specific, if maybe subconscious, reasons, in a way that, shall we say, a large white man with a crewcut who beats the shit out of people for a living would not. How many of these people who call Sherman a “thug” would ever think to use the same word to describe, say, Brock Lesnar?

  19. Humans are tribal, get over it. Can the author come up with a better word to describe the people he would never live around?

    • American Cannibal | Feb 13, 2014 at 11:31 am |


      Nah. That’s too mean of me. How about people who don’t like to watch violence for pleasure? Pussies, I mean. Sissy Pussies. After reading the essay above, I get the sense he don’t care for ’em.

    • I call people I would never live around “fizmaths.”

  20. American Cannibal | Feb 13, 2014 at 2:28 pm |

    Whaat? No Love for the P.E.??? THIS WHOLE WEBSITE IS RACIST!!

  21. Thank you Mr. Staggs for your thoughtful article. I like how you pull it all together at the end with the “polite” society. Very well done.

  22. Thurlow Weed | Feb 17, 2014 at 9:39 am |

    I did not follow that link because you didn’t sell it well. Just saying.

    • Adam's Shadow | Feb 17, 2014 at 4:39 pm |

      I was drunk at the time; just a snapshot of standard hometown craziness.

  23. This reminds me. The world needs an early 90’s gangster style movie that’s set in semi rich suburbs. The main characters are white yuppies, yet experiencing the kind of events that occur in the mentioned genre.

    Something like this…

  24. Jin The Ninja | Feb 18, 2014 at 4:57 pm |

    flaccid imprecations, failed denunciations, and false associations- continue to characterise me nary.

    i do not encourage the mocking of the trickster archetype. subversion of power is only successful when there is legitimate context to the work.

    an ‘anarchist’ is a defacto trickster. s/w/he laugh and shrug at impotent fools who throw their own shit. continue, like you’ve done this entire thread, and i’ll continue to scoff.

  25. bcmugger | Mar 6, 2014 at 7:30 pm |

    Yet another anti-white retarded white person.

Comments are closed.